By Ben Mwendwa

For: Public Communications

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Students have been urged to pursue peace and security vital for not only national but also regional progress and prosperity. These are key pillars for the social, economic and political development of any people.

Addressing a gathering of students at the University of Kabianga, Kericho County,the Principal Secretary in charge of East African Affairs, Ms. Betty Maina urged that the integration process pace will be curtailed if these two fundamental pillars are not adhered to. She observed that students form a huge constituency whose contribution couldn’t be underrated if at all the region was to enjoy and realize its goals in pursuit of an integrated community.

The PS underscored the opportunities presented by EAC in terms of expanded markets and economy which translates to great opportunities for the young people. She however challenged the students to equip themselves with relevant skills in readiness for the expanded market. The youths, the PS observed form the power base of any community hence in the spirit of fulfilling the “people centered, market driven: “approach of the community, they have to be incorporated in the integration process. “Peace and Security forms the basis for our operations across the region and across our borders, I therefore urge each of us to work towards this noble course” Maina said.

She elaborately took the students through the pillars of integration from Customs Union to the anticipated Political Federation. Much emphasis were laid on the Customs union with basis on common external tariff, elimination of internal trade barriers as well as exception of custom duty on goods originating from East Africa. Ms. Maina who was accompanied by Senior Assistant Director Ms. Tabitha Masinjila further added that the community had signed the Common Market Protocol to ensure the three freedoms and two rights. These freedoms, especially movement of workers and persons ought to operate within the premise of the laid down procedures and the law.

pskabianga2The University’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Wilson Kipng’eno explicated that EAC provided great opportunities for the young people but most of them have not been exposed to the same. He appreciated the interactive session between the University and the State Department charged with regional affairs. He declared unwavering support to the inaugurated EAC club.

The Dean School of Arts Prof. Issa Mwamzandi who coordinated the event lauded the State Department of East African Affairs for choosing the University and rooted for the urgent empowerment of the established Kiswahili Commission in pursuit of enhancing the regions Lingua Franca. He observed that common language would foster speedy social integration.

The EAC Youth Ambassadors were represented by Victor Adede who called for social interaction through the EAC Youth platforms attracting great following and challenged the students to participate actively in the established club as a platform.

The PS officially launched the EAC club and handed over an EAC flag to the Club officials led by Catherine Katam as a symbol of commitment to the club.